Journey to Sardinia in 2010, part 2
Besides the archaeological sites we visited, we managed to dedicate also some time to cultural and naturalistic sites. We were amazed at the sight of the wall paintings at Tinnura, one of those villages just behind Bosa. The paintings enlived the streets. They represented the life and work of common people of the Sardinian countryside. Just take a look in the photo gallery.
The second week of our stay in Sardinia would be dedicated to the family. Nonetheless we managed to visit some marvellous places. When travelling from Bosa southwards the first marvel is the panoramic view from the town of Cuglieri. Even though it is several kilometers away from the coast you can overlook the coast from Bosa to the peninsula of Sinis. The town itself is very characteristic. From Cuglieri we arrived in Santa Caterina di Pittinuri. The coast is splendid with the chalkstone cliffs where the sea carved a tunnel through it, like the passage under a bridge. This place is called s'Archittu, the arch.
One day we visited the peninsula of Sinis, to see the beautiful beaches of Is Aruttas and San Giovanni. As there was some wind and clouds the coast at the northern end, near Su Pallosu, was an impressive panorama. Although it was the finest weather to take a bath in the green-blue sea, it was nonetheless pleasant to visit the beaches. Particularly Is Aruttas with it's beach of grains of quarz which is unlike any other beach. But it was also good to see the site of Tharros again and the beach of San Giovanni, which for me remains the top number one.
Another day we visited the Giara of Gesturi. This highland plateau has a particular flora and fauna. Because it had just rained there was abundant water on the Giara, these ponds are called pauli and usually fall dry in summer. The highland flora is characterised by the macchia mediterranea, the corkoak, and the pastures where the wild horses graze. These wild horses belong to a typical species called Cavallino della Giara and wander freely over the highland plateau.
We payed a second visit to the church of Santa Giusta. We had been there before but it remains one of the most fascinating churches in it's kind. It was built around 1135 in the heydays of the medieval Giudicate of Arborea. In the interior architectural elements have been reused from roman and byzantine times and others were copied from roman models. Each column that supports the ship of the church is different, and each capital is likewise unique. The same was done in the crypt of the church, using for every column a different material and a different capital. After that we did some shopping in the medieval town centre of Oristano.
I also had the occasion to visit an archaeological site near Terralba where excavations were being done by the University of Glasgow and the University of Valencia. It was a punic rural site, as around Terralba (near the site of Neapolis) had been a flourishing area in punic times with much agricultural activity. If you want to know more about it I can reccommend reading the work of Peter van Dommelen, On Colonial Grounds.
On our way back we still had time left before taking the flight to Holland. We payed a small visit to Fertilia. Here you can see one of the longest roman bridges that spanned the entrance of the lagoon of Calik near Alghero. Fertilia itself was built in the twenties and thirties of the previous century, just like Arborea (that was called Mussolinia). The architecture is similar to that of the School of Amsterdam of the twenties. From Fertilia you have a wonderful view overlooking the bay where you can see the town of Alghero.
So far our journey to Sardinia. We have gathered a lot of material to be published on the site in due time. Ofcourse we are already considering a next trip, maybe to the interior of Sardinia to visit places like the cave of Tiscali, to see the mountains of the Gennargentu, and maybe taste some of the best Sardinian Cannonau from the wineries there.